ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sarge The Puppy Mill Survivor Learns How To Be A Schnauzer!

Updated on November 4, 2015
Sarge's first photo, still wearing his auction tag.
Sarge's first photo, still wearing his auction tag.

Sarge's Rescue Story

I've done Miniature Schnauzer rescue for close to 20 years now. I never know when I'll receive a call for help. On October 18, 2015, I received a text message saying a puppy mill breeder was selling off dogs. There was a Schnauzer in the bunch – did I want him? Something in my heart made me say yes. The rescuer at the auction paid for the dog for me and transported him to a local rescue who agreed to hold him for me until I could pick him up.

The next day I went to the rescue to meet the tiny little Liver Parti colored Miniature Schnauzer. I stood at eye level in front of his open cage. He stood staring at me, shaking violently in fear. I grabbed my phone and turned on some soothing Katrina Parker music in the background to try and help calm him. I stood in front of his cage talking softly to him for about 15 minutes before I dared try and touch him. He allowed me to pet his back then as I continued talking. We kept going in this manner for close to an hour, at which time I made the decision to just pick him up. When I did so, he was still shaking but eventually started to calm down. After he finally stopped shaking, I decided to go for it and try to give him a bath. (I was in the grooming building of the rescue and they had great equipment right there). The little guy seemed to enjoy the bath! At least he completely tolerated it without any sign of stress. I toweled him dry and snuggled him for a long time before returning him to his kennel. (I could not take him home that day because I had to be away from home).

On Wednesday, I returned to pick up my newest little rescue. He wagged his tail when he saw me! I went straight to picking him up after petting and talking to him for a brief time. Into the car in a kennel and off to home and a new life!

What's A Lap?

Sarge learns what a lap is for and he likes it!
Sarge learns what a lap is for and he likes it!

Rehab Begins!

I named this little guy Sarge because I thought such a tiny, timid little boy needed a tough guy name! Sarge walked into a whole new world when we arrived at home! He met my two Schnauzer girls, SueSue and Ladybug. He walked around exploring for quite awhile and eventually came over to me – very gradually – wanting to be petted (photo below). I picked him up and put him on my lap and he decided that was his new happy place!

Sarge has had so many "firsts" in his two weeks here! His first time walking around in a back yard, first time experiencing rain, first time getting a hug, wearing a collar, getting in a dog bed, and so much more!

Sarge meets the girls!
Sarge meets the girls!

Sarge Learns To Accept A Treat From Me!

Sarge Goes To The Vet!

Sarge had a rabies vaccination but nothing else. He needed medical care urgently so I took him to our vet where he received a complete exam, lab testing, all his vaccinations and heartworm testing (which was, thankfully, negative).

Sarge received a clean bill of health except for one problem – his six black, rotten, nasty teeth! He has tartar deposits on them so huge from seven years of accumulation. One of them is so big it can be felt on the outside of his jaw, the size of a small grape. Unreal, yes? I was told that they mix sawdust in with the dogs' food at puppy mills to stretch the food, reducing their costs. How horrible.

Sarge needs to have the rotten teeth removed. He has a gum infection and irritation in his mouth from the hard tartar deposits. We are currently running a fundraiser to raise the more than $800 needed to do his dental surgery at We would greatly appreciate sharing of his link with your social media!

Your Opinion Please!

Where Do You Stand On Rescue Dogs?

See results

Common Challenges & Solutions With Rescue Dogs

Common Challenges
You May Not Fix...
Fear of Certain People
Make introductions gradually in a quiet place, one person at a time. Don't ever force an introduction on a scared or reluctant dog! It will only make matters worse. The key is repeated exposure to a person in a non threatening way and time – lots of it.
If the dog has been abused by a certain type of person, this fear may never go away..
No Potty Training
I use a belly band on males to discourage marking. I use toddler training pants on either boys or girls. I take them out to potty using the words "let's go potty" about every two hours.
Marking in males if it's a well ingrained habit. Use belly bands to protect your home.
Food Aggression
Always feed a rescue dog separately until you are certain there are no food aggression issues.
Separation Anxiety
Once bonded to you, your rescue dog may be fearful in certain situations for example being left at the vet's, the groomer's, or at home while you are away. I always kennel my rescue dogs when I leave the house.
Extreme separation is very difficult to cure.
Fear of Kennel
If the dog has lived mostly in a kennel, s/he may not want to go back into one! Since I like all of my rescues to be kennel trained, I try to make the kennel a wonderful place filled with comfy bedding, toys, and of course food and water. I also give the dog a special treat whenever I put them into the kennel. That way it becomes a more positive experience for them.
Rehabilitation For Puppy Mill Rescues Can Be A Tough Experience For You And The Dog!

Sarge's Journey Into Doghood!

Here are some of the milestones Sarge has achieved!

Sarge's New Life Is Scary But Wonderful!

My son John, the dog charmer, tries to get Sarge comfortable with him.
My son John, the dog charmer, tries to get Sarge comfortable with him.
Sarge & Me - first selfie at the rescue, holding him for the first time.
Sarge & Me - first selfie at the rescue, holding him for the first time.
Sarge wears a belly band to discourage marking but he has never lifted his leg in the house yet!
Sarge wears a belly band to discourage marking but he has never lifted his leg in the house yet!
Sarge rides like a champ in the car! No kennel required here.
Sarge rides like a champ in the car! No kennel required here.
First time Sarge climbed into a doggie bed.
First time Sarge climbed into a doggie bed.
Sarge walked up to be petted for the first time.
Sarge walked up to be petted for the first time.

Please Say Hello!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Michelle B- Grand 

      3 years ago

      so cute

    • profile image

      Michelle B- Grand 

      3 years ago

      too cute for words

    • profile image

      Michelle B- Grand 

      3 years ago

      so cute

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Thanks so much Sandymac and good on you for your bulldog rescue work!

    • Sandymac profile image


      3 years ago from Longwood, Florida

      Great job. I have been in English bulldog rescue for 25 years. I know how hard it can be, and how your heart goes out to every rescue. Good luck with Sarge.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)